Active Living, How-to, Student Life

Do You Hate Exercise? Read This

A girl stands on a mountaintop.

Hiking up a mountain was my proudest achievement this summer.

Hi, I’m Julia! I’m this year’s Move U blogger, and I’m so excited to share my experiences of getting active at U of T.

I wasn’t always an active person. In middle and high school, I hated gym class; sports were a source of fear and shame. I’m not competitive, which means that I was never really brave enough to assert myself in team sports. I also don’t have the best aim, which ruled out baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer… et cetera. I usually felt terrible after participating in these sports because they made my shortcomings so obvious to me (and my classmates… ugh). It seemed to me that exercise and I were just never going to mesh.

I finally found my athletic niche in my last two years of high school, when I joined my school marching band and was part of the color guard. I got to perform dance routines across an entire football field while spinning flags, batons, and other pieces of equipment in sync with the other members of the guard. Colorguard wasn’t a sport I had ever heard much about, but it was a perfect fit for me – it let me be creative, it fostered my growth and confidence, and was fun! Despite being scared of the spotlight my whole life, I got to perform… and it felt amazing.

That experience shaped my approach to exercise. I’ve learned that getting active doesn’t have to be a struggle – it’s supposed to be fun! Do you hate cardio? Then don’t do it, yo. Find a sport or activity that makes your heart happy. I was determined to do this when I arrived at U of T. I tried yoga, ice skating, running, soccer, and skateboarding, to name a few! I even got to go hiking for the first time this summer while on a trip to Pennsylvania (see above) – something I was very apprehensive about, but ended up loving. From trying those new things, I learned that I dislike yoga but love skateboarding, running, and my personal favourite: rock climbing. Most of all, I learned the value of trying new things and putting myself out there. U of T has so much to offer in the way of sports, and I’m excited to keep discovering which activities I love and which ones I could really do without… looking at you, yoga.

I’ll be trying new things all year long here on the Life at U of T blog. If you’re as scared of physical activity as I once was, I hope you’ll follow along with me and hopefully try some new things for yourself!